Interview with Festival Director Moosa Saleem (Access Code Short Film Festival)

access-code.jpgAfter amazing 8 editions, we are here again. It’s a festival where 200 movies are played, more than any of the festival in the world. Almost every film that enters the festival will be screened at the festival, no matter how many days the festival runs.

Interview with Festival Director Moosa Saleem:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Moosa Saleem: Access Code Short Film Festival has been very supportive to student and young filmmakers across the world.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

MS: Very high quality shorts and indies. We also selected a lot of music videos by unknown bands.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

MS: We always prefer sound over images. An indie filmmaker spends a lot on camera, costumes and other props and hardly gives sound any importance. They forget that a film is 50% sound. A bad quality sound can ruin the whole film even if the visuals are amazing, but even if the video is bad or shaky, a good quality sound can cover up for it.

MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

MS: I explained it in the above question. A lot of indie filmmakers neglect a good quality sound setup. It’s not that expensive, to be honest. Most films get rejected by a lot of film festivals because of bad sound. Also, it’s impossible to screen every film out of the amount of entries we get after each passing edition.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

MS: We love films, be it narrative, documentary, animation. It saddens me to see some amazing filmmakers going unnoticed in this competitive world. We are creating a platform for filmmakers who stayed restricted to YouTube and Vimeo to showcase their talent to the world. We even try to get them a TV distribution deal

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

MS: We started as a film festival for animation shorts and music videos. Now, we have amazing submissions from documentaries to webisodes.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

MS: We are planning to take this festival to other parts of the country by 2020.

MT: What film have you seen the most times in your life?

MS: The Intouchables from France and 3 Idiots from India.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

MS: A good screenplay, with some good acting talent.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

MS: I am originally from Jammu and Kashmir and it’s a conflict zone and there is no such thing as film scene here but a lot of Bollywood films are shot here every year, including some of the Hollywood movies like The Fall and Hector And The Search Of Happiness, to name among the few. Three amazing movies came out of Kashmir few years back, Valley of Saints (it won the Sundance in 2012), Haider and Harud. ;


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


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